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May 24: Signing out, again
By: Jani | Archives

This time, though, for a shorter time. Next week I'll be visiting the green island of Ireland and not drink a single pint. Once you've seen one Irish pub you've seen them all, right? What's the point of visiting one in Dublin, when you can find a very decent one in Bratislava? If you believed that, then wait till I get back and I'll tell you about my adventures with leprechauns.

The Finnish parliament voted today to permit the building of a fifth nuclear power plant. This would be the first new nuclear plant in the West in like ten years ("like" is a very good substitute for actually trying to research something). I'm personally pretty ambigous on whether it's a good thing or not, but since Bush is pushing for more nuclear power in the US, it can't be all good. Well, we'll all die for other unnatural reasons anyway before any major nuclear accident happens.

And with that happy note, goes quiet. For now.

May 22: Debates
By: Jani | Archives

The source of much wisdom, debating with other people needs to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, it's difficult to do so when the people you're debating with are so plainly wrong it's amazing they can't see it themselves. Although, in all fairness, the best debates are exactly those where there is no clear-cut winner or right answer. Some things I've recently debated about is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US government decisions over trade and the environment and whether to watch Notting Hill or Calamari Union on TV. Whatever the debate, it's important to be able to debate correctly and to be able to point out fallacies in the other's reasoning. Hence, the Logical Fallacies page comes in handy (and, as a special bonus, you can debate whether all these fallacies are in fact fallacies). It would be especially handy if there was some way to remember all these fallacies, but in most cases it's enough to just browse through them and pick out the most common ones. Better get well equipped for that next big debate. But if you're plannning on having it over the internet, don't forget the wisdom of this poster.

May 16: It's Good!
By: Jani | Archives

It does say something about the quality of Episode I that you now have to go see a new Star Wars movie hoping that there isn't anything embarrasingly bad about it. This time, none of those fears come about (Jar Jar barely registers). This is the best-looking, most fast-paced science-fiction movie in a long while. I know people that aren't really into the Star Wars thing at all will enjoy it as well (I went to see it with one such person), so even if you just want to see some high-flying chase-scenes and even some plot twists this is a safe-bet movie. For the rest of us... ahhhh. Man, this movie has so many scenes that hit the top of all-time Star Wars -scenes, right up there with the attack run on the first Death Star, the light sabre battle with Darth Maul or the speeder bike -chase on Endor. I know a lot of people have already heard that Yoda fights with a light sabre, and that scene alone is worth the ticket. It's funny, yet dead serious. They've pulled it off very well.
All right, I better stop writing before I start revealing more about the movie than some people might like. Even though it just means giving more money to Lucas' ridicilously large empire, I can highly recommend going to see this movie (I'm going again tonight). If you haven't taken up our other recommendations (you still haven't been to Uzbekistan, have you?), this is one you can easily do. And if you don't like the movie, I'd be interested to hear why not. Head out to our long-morbid forum to report your views if you have any you feel like need to be shared.

May 15: Opening night
By: Jani | Archives

...And if you don't know what premieres this night, you haven't been reading Kekkuli enough. Episode II, of course. In less than 9 hours I'll see whether it was worth all the hype and waiting. This time I've also managed to stay clear of those corners of the internet where any possible plot surprises are revealed (and no, Kekkuli won't turn into one of those corners, despite what I may have written sometime earlier). A day before seeing Episode I I read somewhere that Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jin get killed, which is pretty much the only surprise in the movie. Although the biggest "surprise" of all has of course been ruined a long time ago ("Holy Cow! Anakin turns evil?!"). So if you suffer from the Skywalker- syndrome, of which the only visible symptome is calling in sick to work the day after a Star Wars movie premieres, enjoy the movie. The rest of you can go see Spider Man (there weren't any women reading this, were there?)

May 14: Just another weblog
By: Jani | Archives

...that's what we are, unfortunately. Sometimes, when you get 10000 hits on your site in one day (and just on one day, with some assistance from a certain site) it might be difficult to remember that there are about 100000000 other people doing pretty much exactly what we're doing here. Our only advantage is an easy-to-remember (?) site-address instead of one of those slash-curly-line-number thingies. Not that that makes us any better. It's the superior quality of our writing and links that makes us better. It's just up to the unknowing masses to realize that. You reading this are the vanguard, I congratulate you on your excellent taste. Others will follow.
Although the question remains whether it would really be that great to have a hugely popular website. Sure, being famous would be fun I guess, especially the kind of famous where no one knows what you look like, but the problems would definitely overwhelm the benefits of that "fun to be famous", unless the "fun" included some sex-slave-groupies. But already I'm stressed out once in a while about updating this page for the 10 or so people that show up every day (whether those are the same 10 people every day, I can't tell. Probably not, even a slower person would soon realize we don't update that often. This last week was especially bad, thanks to the fact that the weather up here has been so great that I've actually preferred staying outside to sitting in front of the computer. And Tero is god-knows where, I think Paris?). And the costs of getting huge amounts of hits are pretty big, as are constantly witnessed by, which is apparently constantly fighting on the brink of extinction thanks to the costs of upkeeping the site. And the owner of that site owns his own ISP. Of course, Fark is more popular than Jesus and is closing in on the Beatles, so comparing kekkuli to it is like comparing (insert your own two vastly-different nouns here, preferably with humorous adjectives, I'm too lazy to think of good ones).
But don't feel forced to keep reading other people's contributions, go create your own weblog at Now that's a place to feel special in the midst of thousands of other bloggers (those are the terms, don't blame me for inventing them, I think they're stupid as well. "blog", geez). But hey, someone's gotta do the dirty work. And if you're ready to pay $4.50 for it, you can read the rest of an article according to which bloggers will soon be able to counter the threat imposed by mass-media consolidating in the hands of a very few. If you do, let me know if that's what the article is really about, I'm just guessing here.

May 7: Accounting
By: Tero | Archives

Here in Miami accounting skills are more important than one would think at first. I mean everything, absolutely everything revolves around money. In other words this is a great place if you have loads of dough. For the rest of us, well, there is a Taco Bell and the local Cinema! And check it out! Spiderman is on! Get excited! (At least the producers of the movie are doing so!!) Anyway, some who are not so excited these days are the accounting people of Enron. I guess they didn't do their math properly.

Speaking of which, here is how math has evolved through the years:

Teaching Math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math in 1970: A logger exchanges a set "L" of lumber for a set "M" of money. The cardinality of set "M" is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make 100 dots representing the elements of the set "M". The Set "C", the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set "M". Represent the set "C" as a subset of set "M" and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set "P" of profits?

Teaching Math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in 1990: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

Teaching Math in 2000: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $120. How does Arthur Andersen determine that his profit margin is $60?

Oh, and here's one more puzzle for everybody. Try to solve what is wrong with this picture. It's kinda hard, but while you think about it, make sure you listen to the very nice relaxing music they play on the backround. Good luck.

May 6: Reality TV
By: Jani | Archives

Most people deny that they ever watch these reality TV -shows, but in truth there's got to be a lot of people that enjoy them anyway. I don't and I've never watched any. See? this is exactly what I'm talking about. In truth, I've watched one of the Survivor-series with some interest, but definitely the worst (and hence most interesting) series was Temptation Island, where the premises were so twisted that you just had to see what happens next. Apparently there's a second series of it as well, so if you're not familiar with the format of this particular show go read the rules. Awful I'm telling you!

But here's a new reality TV show that's really going to kick the crap out and bite the head off all these other shows: The Osbournes. This MTV show depicts the adventures of Ozzy Osbourne and his family as they face everyday challenges. In an episode where Ozzy's wife Sharon (who's his manager as well) suggests putting some bubbles on stage, he screams: "Bubbles? I'm the fucking Prince of Darkness!" Sentiments we can all relate to.

May 2: Games
By: Jani | Archives

While you're working hard to earn enough cash to visit Uzbekistan and Easter Island after reading the convincing recommendations on kekkuli, why not take a break? I've recently spent much too much time on some ridicilously simple online games. But hey, that's what time is for, right? Being wasted, that is (the time, not you. Although in celebration of May Day, quite a few people in Finland were. You need to witness it yourself to believe it. Easter Island - Finland - Uzbekistan makes for a good itinerary).
I mentioned the Rockstar Game some time back after just seeing it myself, but it earns another mentioning, since I just got my first album released and it's soaring through the charts (943 worldwide). For anyone who's ever dreamed of having a band this is a pretty easy way of living that fantasy, without the need of all that practising and drug abuse. The only downside is that it doesn't take up that much time, about 5 minutes daily.

The other game worth a mentioning is Insaquarium (or something). Despite its simplistic idea of feeding fish in a fish tank and killing aliens that try to eat your fish, you'll notice that you've suddenly spent two hours on it just like that. Just the thing to do at the end of a boring work day (not that I know anything about those, thanks to my lazy student life).

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